Missed the deadline


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

Scarab Sages

Oh shoot. I thought the deadline was midnight!

Oh well. Here's what I was working on, for posterity.

Spoiler:

Amulet of Deadening

This amulet, made of a pair of finger bones etched with dark runes, radiates a feeling of death. The wearer's flesh becomes ashen and cold, and the she gains some of the benefits (and detriments) of undeath.

The wearer has no constitution score, and is immune to disease and poison. While wearing the amulet, she is immune to critical hits, sneak attacks, and other attacks requiring discernible anatomy. However, being neither truly alive nor truly undead, she does not heal naturally and gains no benefits from healing magic. Spells and effects that damage undead (other than turning attempts) also damage her.

Strong necromancy; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, create greater undead; Price 130,000gp


Owen Anderson wrote:

Oh shoot. I thought the deadline was midnight!

Oh well. Here's what I was working on, for posterity.

** spoiler omitted **

Probably doesn't help you feel any better about it but that is a cool item! Now stolen for use in my house campaign :-)


I missed it by one minute!!!

Not sure if I want to share yet...mainly cause it's late for me. maybe tomorrow.
Good Luck to all who got their submissions in!


Owen Anderson wrote:

Oh shoot. I thought the deadline was midnight!

Oh well. Here's what I was working on, for posterity.

** spoiler omitted **

I like this one as well and will be stealing it for use in my own campaign.

Scarab Sages

Glad to hear that people like it, at least.

I'd appreciate secondary opinions on the pricing. The guidelines were more or less useless, so I tried to go by judging it against items of comparable power.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

I cant say what my fellow judges might say, but we call these "monster in a box" items--items that let a PC take on the attributes of a creature or a type. As a general matter, these have not fared well unless they do something interesting or unique. I'd have to review your creation and costing, and I am not going to do that here, but I will say it doesnt pass the eyeball test. It seems very high. We would certainly be checking the cost on this.

That is an example of a very good item that likely is not superstar quality.

I should point out, it is competently put together. That is the kind of item I would gladly accept in a large book of items. Though you would likely get dinged a bit for the rather uninspired name, your format otherwise was excellent: title, one line of good flavor, then mechanics, then creation and costing. That, my friend, is a wondrous item. That is not to say we required that formatting, but you sure arent going to lose points for how you did it. Wayyyyyyy too many people went overboard on flavor and backstory.

My final comment would have been:

"This is a good item. Good format. Followed instructions. Costing and creation doesnt pass eyeball test, needs further discussion. Name is a bit uninspired. Item is a "creature in a box," which is less than impressive. But good description of mechanics. For all monster in a box items, I have a greater concern re undead as it fundamentally tinkers with key design issues, such as no CON score for PCs, but that is beside the point. I am also interested in discussing the validity of excluding turn attempts, not sure that is on solid conceptual design footing. We've seen a few of these and, while perhaps one of the better ones, not a superstar entry. My vote is to reject."

Consider that a little preview to how I judged anyway. :) Who knows Erik and Wolfie might have loved it. I'm just one of three. That post, likely, would have spurred a multi-entry discussion of its costing (which I wont do here since I am busy evaluating costs of actual entries).

Let me say, that while I shared how I might have commented and my final vote was not to put in top 32 please understand that this is a very very competent entry and would NOT have been summarily rejected. We would have discussed it. You did a whole lot of things right here. In the end, this is a good example of just how subjective the final judging will be.

Very nice work.

Clark

Liberty's Edge

Hmmm...me thinks my item be ever too pricey...

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

My comments might also give you some insight on just how good and competitive this competition was, if a nice item like that doesnt make the cut. We got some really really good stuff.

You guys are good!

Scarab Sages

Clark Peterson wrote:
I'd have to review your creation and costing, and I am not going to do that here, but I will say it doesnt pass the eyeball test. It seems very high. We would certainly be checking the cost on this.

Possibly very high cost due to the specific spell used (level 8), the fact that said spell requires a costly material component, and the fact that this is a continuous item.

I'm sure there are lower-level spells out there that mask the caster's life-force, and prevent critical hits, but since I rarely play Necromancers, I can't recall the names (or whether they are OGL).

Adding prerequisites for use can give you a serious discount, such as making it usable only by clerics (ker-ching!) with the Death Domain (ker-ching!), for limited times/day (ker-ching!). You could probably knock off 20-30% straight away, and this has the added bonus of being able to give it to your villain, but denying it to most PCs when they loot his corpse. This might sound like a cheap trick, and send your players grinding their teeth, but I believe more items should be tied to their owners, especially clerical items. They are made for a higher purpose, after all, not so that some heretic can use them against you.

I think the base spell needs some thinking about. I know that not all items act exactly like the spells used in their creation, but if I'd been shown the pre-requisites alone, without the description, I would have assumed this was a device meant for spewing out a conveyor-belt of shadows at the rate of 1/hour (like the skull-piles in Gauntlet). As such, the price is definitely justified. Think how much havok you would create with that!


Which points up one of the underlying discussions about pricing. You can price an item by the book, then eyeball and go "It costs <i>how</i> much?" Then you have to decide if you're going to cut that price because no matter how cool it is, a PC would rather have a +5 weapon for less.

Dark Archive

Strange how, out of an infinite number of possible item, some ideas seem to come to more than one person. When I learned about the contest, the first item that pop-ed into my mind was one almost exactly like your Owen. Judge for yourself:

Spoiler:

Vampiresoul Bracers

This fine set of engraved bracers fit with cut rubies is said to hold the soul of a dreadful vampire, and indeed, those with the sight have confirmed that a distinct evil radiates from these items. The bracers stay dormant until the wearer taps its dark powers, at which point, the evil imprisoned in the item awakes and starts feeding on its user's life energy, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution drain (no save). The resulting symbiosis last a full minute and grants the user a number of undead traits:

60' darkvision,
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects,
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects,
Healed by negative energy and armed by positive energy,
No need to breath, eat, or sleep.

Furthermore, while under the effect of the bracers, the wearer also suffers the risk of being turned/rebuke as an undead of its level.

This magic can only be made to function on creatures with blood in their vein (to sustain the dark thirst of the Vampire-like item).

Cursed versions of this item are said to exist and turn their users into real vampires.

Strong Necromancy; CL 15th; Craft Wondrous Item, Control Undead; Price 80000 gp

Scarab Sages

Clark Peterson wrote:
I'd have to review your creation and costing, and I am not going to do that here, but I will say it doesnt pass the eyeball test. It seems very high. We would certainly be checking the cost on this.

A lot of my reasoning was based on the quality of the immunities it grants. For instance, it was a hard decision to see how to price this vis-a-vis CON-enhancing items like a Manual of Bodily Health. Which which is "better" is very subjective.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Though you would likely get dinged a bit for the rather uninspired name

In all honestly, I actually prefer names like this to "flowery" ones. I find that I'm less likely to use a flowery-sounding item in my own campaign, because I feel like I'd have to rename it to make it fit. I'd rather have reasonable-yet-descriptive names that I can comfortably stick in anywhere.

Thanks for the feedback!! :-)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

No problem!

I probably should have asked if you wanted feedback first :)

I am not saying your pricing is wrong. I am saying at first pass it raises a red flag that, if this were an actual submission, I would have reviewed further and the judges would likely have discussed. It may well be right on. Dont know. Pricing is a "black art" as Erik calls it. There is a reasonable range for prices. We have certainly not dinged entries that, while we might price them differently, were within a range that we thought fit the rules and the spirit of item pricing. My comment was mostly to show my process in judging. I do a first pass looking for certain things. One of those is whether the price just looks right or not to me. Obviously I cant know just by looking, but some stand out as needing more inspection. If the item gets rejected for otehr reasons, there is no need to do the crunching of the price of the item. If the item might be a keeper, I crunch the price.


It's an interetsing insight into the judging.

I truly like my item, but I do worry that I might have been too plain in the descriptive text. It was a chocie, but perhaps the incorrect one.

Joy of second thoughts. We shall see.


The OP posted his item over at EN World and asked for some pricing help. Here's what I came up with based on the item, as written.

It's basically a continuous use item roughly duplicating the effect of an 8th level spell (create greater undead). The formula for that is Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp, so your formula is 8 x 15 x 2000, which equals 240,000 and puts it into artifact territory.

That seems a bit high, even with all the benefits it provides.

The other way to price it would be to find items that duplicate the amulet's abilities. In this case you would have the following items:

Periapt of Health (immunity to disease) - 7,500 gp
Periapt of Proof against Poison (immunity to poison) - 27,000
Heavy Fortification armor special ability (immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks) - 25,000

These three items combined give you a total of 59,500 gp, which I think is far too low.

And here we have the problem of 3.5 magic item pricing, the oft mentioned black art. The first total is by the book, but gives a very high price; the second total is from the hip, and gives a total that's too low. So you either go with one or the other and cross your fingers, or split the difference...and cross your fingers. :)

BD


Clark -

Thanks for the insightful comments about the judging process. From the outside, there's just waiting to do right now. It's interesting to get at least a small glimpse into what you three are now having to do for all of those many entries. Good luck!

Sovereign Court

Mike Knowles wrote:
Thanks for the insightful comments about the judging process. From the outside, there's just waiting to do right now. It's interesting to get at least a small glimpse into what you three are now having to do for all of those many entries. Good luck!

What we're not being told is that 800 of those 850 entries were automatically disqualified for word count problems, non OGL materials, or egregious spelling errors. They're really going to spend the next week and a half sitting on the back porch, sipping beers and talking about NASCAR, until the night before and bang out the 32 winners in a late-night marathon bull session.

:p ;)


Item pricing is a headache and one of the reasons I don't like designing magic items. Even when you do it by the book it's often clearly wrong. I also like items that don't exactly duplicate spell effects, for which you often have to make a best guess for which spell to use. Or an item that can do some but not all of what a spell allows you to do. It just makes the design very difficult.

I just hope I got my pricing in the right ballpark.

- Ashavan


Koldoon wrote:

Item pricing is a headache and one of the reasons I don't like designing magic items. Even when you do it by the book it's often clearly wrong. I also like items that don't exactly duplicate spell effects, for which you often have to make a best guess for which spell to use. Or an item that can do some but not all of what a spell allows you to do. It just makes the design very difficult.

I just hope I got my pricing in the right ballpark.

- Ashavan

It's fairly straightforward with everything but wondrous items, but it's still a whole lot of number crunching. This is definitely one of those things I hope they address with 4E.

BD

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Blackdirge wrote:
It's basically a continuous use item roughly duplicating the effect of an 8th level spell (create greater undead). The formula for that is Spell level x caster level x 2,000 gp, so your formula is 8 x 15 x 2000, which equals 240,000 and puts it into artifact territory.

But there's one major difference - it's not continually creating undead - it's essentially operating once per day. So if I were evaluating this one, I'd throw in the "Divide by 5/number of charges" and consider pricing it at 48,000 gp, 1/5 of 240,000gp.

Create greater undead isn't that great of a fit, however, I like the tactic of using the three items better - but remember when you add multiple different abilities and/or they don't match the slot, it gets more expensive, so it's not a simple addition - it's on the order of 75,750gp to 92,000gp depending on how you apply the mods.


Heck, I got the bloody date wrong. Here's mine:

Gloves of the Stonemason

A pair of finely crafted leather gloves of utmost softness. The leather does not appear to
be that of any identifiable creature.

Normal stone provides only as much resistance to the wearer's hands as would soft clay. Only a small area of stone is effected at a time - a whole wall would not soften and collapse at the touch of these gloves. The user can make holes, remove fittings with ease and even cut pillars. They do nothing to reduce the mass of the stone worked with, so it is quite possible for the wearer to be injured or killed when working with large amounts of stone. The user may manipulate up to 1 cubic foot of stone per minute.

The wearer may make unarmed attacks as if armed with a mace against stone-based life forms, and is treated as +2 for determining what the wearer can effect.

Manufactured materials such as glass, and brick are not effected by the gloves – only natural stone.

Moderate Transmutation, Cl 8th, Stone Shape. Price 64 000gp

(oh, and on pricing, a continous 4th level spell is pricey indeed!)

Owen Anderson wrote:

Oh shoot. I thought the deadline was midnight!

Oh well. Here's what I was working on, for posterity.

** spoiler omitted **

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

cappadocius wrote:

What we're not being told is that 800 of those 850 entries were automatically disqualified for word count problems, non OGL materials, or egregious spelling errors. They're really going to spend the next week and a half sitting on the back porch, sipping beers and talking about NASCAR, until the night before and bang out the 32 winners in a late-night marathon bull session.

:p ;)

Ha! I can see their deliberations, and the judges are actually discussing the items. They're spending quality time with each and every entry. One at a time. EIGHT HUNDRED OF THEM.

I think they're going to be gibbering husks by the end of the process.


Marcel Goulard wrote:

Heck, I got the bloody date wrong. Here's mine:

Gloves of the Stonemason

Wow !

I REALLY like the gloves - they are a unique item, useful without being too powerful ... NICE !

I would not have priced them NEARLY that high simply for a price vs. utility standpoint myself though - Marvelous pigments create any non-magical inanimate object instantly for only 4K and a +2 weapon is 8K.

Playing with the math a bit - make it a CL 5 item (minimum for stone shape as a cleric spell - per the SRD "An item is only worth two times what the caster of lowest possible level can make it for. Calculate the market price based on the lowest possible level caster, no matter who makes the item") and you get a straight 3*5*2K gp = 30K for a continuous use item, BUT it's got the limitation of 1 cubic foot of stone per minute (discount of 10% maybe? after all the spell is instantaneous - so 27K). Maybe throw in a 3/day limit on the thing (16.2K GP) and a max of 10 + 5 cubic feet per day (as per the spell base - to avoid any abuse issues). Could even make it cheaper by requiring a Craft: Stonemason skill to use, but I think it more fun in the hands of informed amateurs ...

The wording on the mace effect is a little iffy - do you mean it acts a a +2 weapon, or that it allows you to bypass DR/ magic ?

If a +2 weapon, then 4*2K = 8K, then reduced by about 30% per special requirement on the target's behalf =5,600.

If bypassing DR/ Magic, then maybe the equivalent of a +1 discounted as oer above, or a total of 1,400.

I happen to like the +2 Mace idea, so Id price the total item at 16,200+2,100 (1.5 * 1,400) = 18,300 or thereabouts. Which, oddly enough, puts it right in the same range as a Mattock of the Titans (23,348 for the Mattock) - a rather similar item in many respects, but much more powerful as a weapon and less useful than the more finesse-able gloves.

Sorry if my walkthrough above is too much, but I want to yoink these for my game and I thought that I'd post my math to see how it might gibe with what you (Marcel) and others might think.

GREAT item :)


logophylia wrote:
Marcel Goulard wrote:

Heck, I got the bloody date wrong. Here's mine:

Gloves of the Stonemason

Wow !

I REALLY like the gloves - they are a unique item, useful without being too powerful ... NICE !

I would not have priced them NEARLY that high simply for a price vs. utility standpoint myself though - Marvelous pigments create any non-magical inanimate object instantly for only 4K and a +2 weapon is 8K.

Playing with the math a bit - make it a CL 5 item (minimum for stone shape as a cleric spell - per the SRD "An item is only worth two times what the caster of lowest possible level can make it for. Calculate the market price based on the lowest possible level caster, no matter who makes the item") and you get a straight 3*5*2K gp = 30K for a continuous use item, BUT it's got the limitation of 1 cubic foot of stone per minute (discount of 10% maybe? after all the spell is instantaneous - so 27K). Maybe throw in a 3/day limit on the thing (16.2K GP) and a max of 10 + 5 cubic feet per day (as per the spell base - to avoid any abuse issues). Could even make it cheaper by requiring a Craft: Stonemason skill to use, but I think it more fun in the hands of informed amateurs ...

The wording on the mace effect is a little iffy - do you mean it acts a a +2 weapon, or that it allows you to bypass DR/ magic ?

If a +2 weapon, then 4*2K = 8K, then reduced by about 30% per special requirement on the target's behalf =5,600.

If bypassing DR/ Magic, then maybe the equivalent of a +1 discounted as oer above, or a total of 1,400.

I happen to like the +2 Mace idea, so Id price the total item at 16,200+2,100 (1.5 * 1,400) = 18,300 or thereabouts. Which, oddly enough, puts it right in the same range as a Mattock of the Titans (23,348 for the Mattock) - a rather similar item in many respects, but much more powerful as a weapon and less useful than the more finesse-able gloves.

Sorry if my walkthrough above is too much, but I want to yoink these for my game and I thought that I'd post my...

Am glad you liked it! This is my first attempt at pricing a D&D item, so I appreciate the feedback.

The idea on the damage was simply that the wearer could fight stone contructs/gargoyles/etc as if they were soft clay, so a simple punch would do mace damage. The +2 was meant to indicate what the wearer could hurt as opposed to a bonus to hit/damage. Am more familiar with 1st Ed rules then the newfangled systems :P

The continuous effect was selected to allow the wearer to dig tunnels for as long as their endurance could hold out.

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